Ukraine: a Destination for IT Digital Nomads
By Serhii Aleksandrov. Ukraine Immigration Lawyer
If you run a quick web search on the best countries for IT nomads, surprisingly Ukraine doesn’t often appear. However, if you look into Ukraine’s taxes for the IT industry, the visa process, and even relocation opportunities, then you’ll likely consider a move to Ukraine as easy as any named Digital Nomad destination.
The immigration policies have drastically changed since the new President, Volodymyr Zelensky, was elected less than two years ago. He initiated a massive program aimed at turning Ukraine into a global IT hub. Attracting IT professionals to Ukraine is one of the key tools of reaching this goal.
To make this happen the President created a dedicated ministry — the Ministry of Digital Transformation which is managed by a young successful IT businessman. Here are a few really cool initiatives they are implementing:
- Digitilizing most state services leaving behind paper documents, visiting state offices and other bureaucratic archaism
- 5% profit tax for the IT industry
- E-residence which is a special legal status for a foreigner to become a Ukrainian business resident remotely online and work as such from any location on the planet
- Permanent residence status for IT professionals. For example, they invited over 4000 foreign IT workers in 2021
Now let’s dwell on the benefits and opportunities a bit more….
IT business in Ukraine enjoys as low as only 5% profit tax and very simple accounting requirements. Forget about filling out tons of tax returns. The reporting is very simple and done online. Even though it is better to use a local accountant to take care of your business, still there are many foreigners who opt to do this themselves.
For now, E-residence functions are still in test mode, but you can apply for it now to be an early adopter. You don’t have to come to Ukraine or to stay in Ukraine. It is a completely remote thing! Stay wherever you’d like and run your IT business out of Ukraine with a Ukrainian bank account and pay only 5 % tax.
BECOME A DIGITAL NOMAD IN UKRAINE
If you do want to physically relocate to Ukraine and to stay here perpetually or for a while, then you can have several immigration options to choose from.
- Visa-free regime: Citizens of the US, EU, UK, Canada, China, Kuwait and many other countries do not need a visa at all to come to Ukraine for a certain number of days. Usually, it is 90 days within 180 days. So, you can spend here a whole summer or just to come to test the ground
2. E-visa: Citizens of many other counties, who don’t have a visa-free regime option can acquire an E-visa (i.e. citizens of India). It is an electronic visa from start to finish. This particular visa allows you to stay in Ukraine for up to 30 days. It is still a good option to discover the country to decide if you like it or not.
3. Long-stay: Whatever country you are from, you will need to get temporary residence if you want to stay in Ukraine for a longer period of time. This is relatively easy, fast and cheap to do through the following pathways:
- Get a job. If a Ukrainian company wants to hire you, the company obtains a work permit for you and with the work permit you apply for a long-term visa then temporary residence. Residence in this case usually is given for 1 year with a right of prolongation. A work permit is issued within 7 business days, a long-term visa is issued withing 10 business days and a temporary residence permit is issued within 15 business days.
- Create a job. If you don’t want to work for anyone and will to keep being free, then register your own company in Ukraine. This company will hire you as its director, and in this case you will get your temporary residence the same way as described above. The only difference is that in this case you can obtain a 3-year residence permit instead of a 1-year. Your company will pay this 5% corporate tax, so it is not a matter of residence but also doing IT business effectively.
4. Immigration: If you fall in love with Ukraine (as many do) and want to stay for a perpetual period, but do not wish to work for anyone nor have your own company in Ukraine, then you should go after permanent residence.
The Ukrainian government issues immigration quotas for IT professionals. There are some requirements for candidates. In most cases an eligible candidate should have:
- 3 years of the relevant experience;
- the income that is not lower than $24,000(USD) from the previous calendar year.
If you meet these simple 2 requirements than most probably you can obtain Ukrainian permanent residence.
Understand More About Joining Ukraine’s Growing Digital Sector
Contact Serhii Aleksandrov to schedule a consultation to discuss immigration to Ukraine and other general questions about Ukraine.
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